Thursday, 1 August 2013

Engaging employers with the 14-19 Diplomas: the employer perspective

an article by Gill Haynes (University of Exeter, UK) and Pauline Wade and Sarah Lynch (National Foundation for Educational Research, Slough, UK) published in Journal of Education and Work Volume 26 Number 2 (April 2013)


While many studies of work-related learning (WRL) in the English 14-19 curriculum have examined the impact on young people of WRL programmes and initiatives, this article explores why employers become involved with WRL, the mechanisms by which engagement takes place and the opportunities and challenges faced by employers and by those who seek to engage them.

Drawing on data from surveys of teachers and interviews with employers in 15 Diploma consortia across England, undertaken as part of the national evaluation of the 14-19 Diplomas, we consider the factors which are influential in the foundation and sustainment of employer involvement with WRL in schools and colleges. Although previous studies have considered employer engagement at the level of policy making, there have been fewer empirical studies of employers' perceptions and experiences of engagement at the level of curriculum delivery.

Our findings indicate that employers who had become involved in providing WRL for Diplomas could identify a range of benefits to their organisations.

We argue that use can be made of both policy levers and drivers to engage employers but these need to be differentiated to acknowledge that employers do not form a homogeneous group.

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